has several prayers for different occasions and circumstances. Aside from the
solemnity they bring, these prayers also become points of interest, because of
their rich history and purposes. Among these prayers, the most interesting
enough, based from personal opinion, is the Kavanah, or the “Mindset for
Prayer” (Judaism 101, n.d).
The Kavanah is the
mindset needed to prepare for a solemn prayer (Judaism 101, n.d). It only means
that one should have the proper mindset in order to be able to have a deep
conversation with God. Kavanah is responsible for that, and it is done through
the use of melodies (Judaism 101, n.d).
This is quite interesting because of
the use of melodies. According to Judaism 101 (n.d), these melodies further
help Jews to concentrate their thoughts to God. In other words, music proved to
be a powerful aid in religious activities. It only showed how music helps in
increasing the focus of one’s person. It is interesting that way because it
shows how music influences the different aspects of life, including religion.
It makes religion more solemn, just like how Kavanah make Jews focus on their
prayers. Surely enough, music can also make religion more lively and engaging.
The Jewish prayers mainly intends to
converse deeply with God, in order for the Jews to be more aware and
appreciative of God’s significance (Judaism 101, n.d). However, there is a
statement which tells that a prayer should not be done when a person is
inspired to do it (Judaism 101, n.d). Now, the confusion lies on the definition
of awareness. What can be considered as being aware to God’s presence? Does it
suggest that there are some circumstances wherein a prayer can be invalidated?
It is quite confusing because the act of praying due to the reason of being
inspired is a way to show gratitude to God. When a person prays because he or
she is inspired, it only means that he or she remembered God during those
times. In a sense, this act is also an indication of awareness because an
individual knows where to run even in the good times. As such, I found it very
confusing as to why such practice does not meet the purpose of the Jewish
Also, the need to practice praying
defeats the purpose of increasing the awareness of people in praying. It was
stated that one should not stop in doing a certain routine even if he or she
does not feel like doing it on a certain day (Judaism 101, n.d). If this is
also applicable to prayer, then there are days when one still prays even when
he or she does not like praying on the same time. Praying just because it
became a routine does not necessarily mean that the awareness increased. Recalling
what the purpose of Kavanah is, a prayer must be cited with great focus.
However, when one is distracted due to the fact that he or she does not feel
like praying, then how can one be able to establish a proper communication with
In conclusion, Jewish
prayers really intend to make believers close to God. However, a focus needs to
be established first for one to become aware of God’s presence. So the main
question lies on how should one be able to establish the needed awareness. Is
it by praying when one only feels like it, or through praying continuously
despite the possibility of the lack of focus? Regardless, believers should not
forget the Kavanah, and its music. This is because these two aids are helpful
in solving the struggles in praying. Through music, one can establish Kavanah
on a daily basis, which eventually helps the believer to continuously pray on a
daily basis. Basically, praying just needs to be solemn and engaging, as people
tend to find happiness in what they do.